This post is going to be a very personal one, about a trippy experience I had during guided meditation in one of my previous therapy sessions. As soon as I got home I wanted to share it with everyone, and according to a poll I placed on Twitter people were interested in hearing my story as well.
But while writing this post, I felt both excited and scared. And I’ve had many moments where I wanted to erase everything I wrote because it felt too personal. But I decided to publish it anyway, because it’s a good comfort zone challenge, and because talking about mental health is important.
Therapy & Meditation
I’m in therapy because of things that happened to me when I was younger, which gave me low self-confidence and anxiety. And therapy has been very helpful for me so far.
We did this guided meditation session, which felt extremely powerful. I felt so focused, almost high, as if I was in some kind of strong flow state.
The therapy sessions involve a lot of talking, answering questions (such as “what does this make you feel like?”) and meditating. Usually, we start the therapy with a guided meditation session, and this particular day the meditation made me extremely focused. I felt in some kind of flow state afterwards, and I think it has been one of my best meditation sessions to date.
So when we started talking about my feelings I told my therapist that I felt really bad about the fact that my parents never treated me right as a kid, and that I felt like a bad person for not interacting with them on a regular basis anymore.
He asked me to describe the feeling and I had to answer some very detailed questions. Such as “Where in your body do you feel this emotion?” I felt it in my chest. “What does it physically feel like?” It felt like something heavy was pressing against my chest, and it made me feel sick. This continued for a little while, and then he asked me to close my eyes and visualize the feeling.
What does the feeling look like?
And that’s when things got trippy. I was skeptical at first because I don’t have the wildest imagination. But he guided me through this meditation (I thought it was called guided imagery, but when I told my boyfriend about it, he said it was more like hypnosis – anyway, the exact terminology doesn’t matter) and it was so powerful. I could really see the things he asked me about, which still surprises me.
I was trapped in a corner by a big, gray sphere filled with bad sadness, guilt and shame. It was trying to destroy me. I fought, I tried to get away, but I couldn’t. The sphere was too strong and I was too weak.
The feeling looked like a big, gray ball that pushed me into the corner of the room. I was completely trapped, and I couldn’t find a way out. I could see myself panicking, trying to push the big sphere away, but it was too strong. The harder the ball pushed me against the wall, the harder I cried. And the harder I cried, the heavier the ball felt.
I could clearly see every detail of that scene, I even recognized the clothes and jewelry I was wearing. And I could feel it all as well. I really felt the emotion I was talking about earlier, even though I was feeling happy and relaxed just before that guided meditation session started. I felt sad and small, sick, ashamed and like a disobedient child.
Talking to myself
The therapist then asked me to observe the crying version of myself from where I was sitting. What did I think when I saw someone struggling like that? I thought she looked helpless, I felt bad for her. And I was glad I wasn’t suffering like that. He encouraged me to walk up to her (well, to myself) and ask her some questions. I asked her if she could escape, but the ball weighed too much. And she was tired of fighting.
I freed her. I freed myself. And I told myself I didn’t have to fight my demons alone, cause there is a part inside of me that’s strong and that will help me.
So I removed the ball. I freed her. I freed myself. And then I talked to that other version of myself about myself. About how I got away from home, about how I fulfilled one of my dreams and moved to Norway. I promised her everything would get better. She would get better. I got better and I will keep getting better. She didn’t have to be afraid. And she didn’t have to fight alone, cause I would be strong and help her.
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